Richard Hammond was filming The Grand Tour in Switzerland when the supercar he was driving went out of control, flipped a few times and burst into flames. The former Top Gear presenter narrowly cheated death and only has to undergo surgery for his broken knee.
The 47-year-old was immediately airlifted to the hospital after he was found near the burning sports car. The vehicle plummeted down a 100 ft. hill and flipped over several times before settling on the wrong side up.
How It Happened
Hammond was driving the £2 million Rimac Concept One when he totally lost control of it while turning on a tight bend. The car can go up to 200mph in speed, so he was really running fast when it happened.
The popular personality escaped death by crawling out of the shattered window. Seconds after he got out of the car, it exploded and burned.
At that time, James May and Jeremy Clarkson were also working on The Grand Tour alongside Hammond, so they witnessed the whole thing. The two rushed to the burning car and at what they saw, they were convinced that their friend is dead.
However, they found Hammond a few yards away, and he is alive. In a tweet, Clarkson wrote, “It was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.”
Additionally, the executive producer of The Grand Tour, Andy Wilman, has spoken as well. “Jeremy and James both raced down to the scene of the crash as soon as it happened. When they saw the wreckage on fire they thought Richard was dead. It was really bad,” he told the Mirror.
“They were staggered he had got out of it alive, because there was just nothing left. Everyone is so relieved. If Richard had been a few seconds slower getting out, he would have been incinerated.”
Further, both May and Clarkson were waiting at the finish line when they heard a loud boom. They recalled that the crash was like a bomb going off.
At the medical facility, Richard Hammond called his friend and F1 presenter Sasha Martinengo and told him that he is fine. In turn, he relayed to fans that Richard is returning to the UK to have his knee surgery.
Hi all. Got a msg from @RichardHammond . He is fine. He has a broken leg and needs knee surgery. He might fly home for the procedure.
— Sasha Martinengo (@F1sasha) June 11, 2017
Executive producer Wilman added that he was able to talk to Hammond in the hospital and he appeared to be very shaken. He also observed that the British presenter is rather lucid.
On the whole, Hammond did not suffer any serious injury, and it was a great miracle that he was able to get out of the car before it burst into flames. When the fire was finally put out by the responding firefighters, the vehicle was totally charred.
He came out of this with a fractured knee! Quite an escape from Richard Hammond. Glad he's ok. pic.twitter.com/avEexWGiUA
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 10, 2017
Luckily, aside from Richard Hammond, no one else was in the car when the accident occurred. The staff of the show thanked the paramedics and fire brigade for their swift response. As for the exact cause of the crash, it is still unknown but being investigated now.
For the latest update, Hammond personally assured fans, friends and his family that he is alive. In a short video message he jokingly said, “I’m not dead” then went on to thank the paramedics who rescued him. He also apologized to his wife and daughters for being a “colossal idiot” and informed everyone that he just needed to undergo knee surgery.
— Richard Hammond (@RichardHammond) June 11, 2017
Meanwhile, this is not the first time that Richard Hammond experienced such horrific and life-threatening accident. Eleven years ago, in 2006, he was filming for BBC’s Top Gear when he suffered serious head injuries that left him in a coma for two weeks.
He was riding a jet-powered car that spun out of control at the speed of 300 mph. The show was being filmed in a remote area in Mozambique, and big medical facilities are quite far, so he was airlifted to the hospital. Hammond was confined at the Leeds General Infirmary’s neurological unit until he regained consciousness.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]